Michael Crane, Paradise Valley Murder Suspect, May Want to Represent Himself

After a few rounds of mental-competency hearings, Michael Crane -- accused of murdering Paradise Valley couple Glenna and Lawrence Shapiro and Phoenix man Bruce Gaudet -- would now like to represent himself against charges of murder, kidnapping, arson, and burglary.

A court spokesman says Crane and his current attorney said in open court today that Crane's "considering" representing himself in the case to handle accusations that he murdered three people and lit two houses on fire in the process.

This is the same Michael Crane who has made animal noises in court and "refused" to go to court without a little help from Maricopa County Sheriff's Deputies, along with other odd behavior.

Including Crane, seven people have been charged in crimes related to both the Shapiro and Gaudet crime scenes, although only Crane and his girlfriend Maricela Sanchez face murder charges.

One of the seven people charged in the case, Brittany Beinhauer, is the only one to be convicted on charges in the case, as she pleaded guilty earlier this week to one count of credit card theft.

According to the details of the heavily-redacted police report, the Shapiros were found dead in their home near 40th Street and Camelback Road on January 31, and their home was on fire when the cops showed up.

Police only went to the house after finding a car registered to the Shapiros on fire near 7th Street and Union Hills Drive.

Crane's accused of shooting the couple before lighting the house on fire.

A lot of the Shapiros' belongings were allegedly found in the possession of several of the other people charged in the case.

Police allege several of the other defendants knew darn well where all of the stolen stuff came from.

Crane was also jailed the month before the murders on eight felony charges, but was cut loose after prosecutors decided they couldn't pin all the evidence on him.

Shortly after Crane's arrest in early February for the Shapiros' murder, a grand jury also indicted him in Gaudet's murder, which occurred the week before the Shapiro were murdered.

By mid-march, Sanchez -- Crane's girlfriend -- was arrested on a warrant related to Gaudet's murder.

She was late to the show since she'd been in the Yuma County Jail since late January after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase in Gaudet's car.

After being brought back to Maricopa County, Sanchez faces charges of murder, robbery, and kidnapping.

The four other people charged in the case -- Kelly Steward, Shawn Nicloy, Danielle Rossman, and Katherine Austin -- still face various charges including theft, trafficking in stolen property, and hindering prosecution in connection with the murders.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley